Next season, when Eric Nadel turns to his left (or maybe it's his right, I'm not sure how they're situated up there) and throws it to his partner for the top of the third, you'll now have a new voice to tell you all about it.
The Rangers are bringing aboard veteran ESPN broadcaster, and Denton, Texas resident Dave Barnett to join the illustrious Eric Nadel and comprise the other half of the KRLD-AM broadcast team for the 2009 season. Barnett, 50, was born and raised in Denton and graduated from the University of North Texas. He still lives in Denton with his wife, Kim, and their two children.
Barnett has quite a bit of history in the Lone Star State. He served as the voice of the Dallas Mavericks from 1981-88, twice receiving UPI Radio Play-by-Play Commentator of the Year Awards. From there, he travelled down I-35 to serve as the lead television broadcaster for the San Antonio Spurs. Barnett also did some broadcasting for the Southwest Conference during their final years.
It's a perfect match, as he tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan:
"I had no idea this was going to come open. But I have been looking over the past few years to see if there was a situation like this that could go along with what I do at ESPN. This is ideal. I'll still do basketball and football for ESPN, but I was looking for a situation where I could be a part of a team family and a team broadcast every night. Those situations are few and far between."
It's not his first time through with the Rangers, either: in 1990, Barnett appeared on a handful of cable television broadcasts for the club.
Barnett will continue working with ESPN, covering football and basketball after the Rangers' season concludes. He'll also fill in for Josh Lewin on the television side of things on certain days.
Interesting snippet: according to Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News, Barnett applied for the job only after reading his note on Victor Rojas leaving to join the MLB Network. This once again demonstrates the power of the blog -- so, take that, Buzz.
At any rate, I'm sure we're all very excited about the latest addition to the broadcast team. Obviously in the grand scheme of things, it's the performance on the field that should matter the most, but to me (and this is not a knock on the talents of anyone associated with broadcasting Texas Rangers baseball), bringing in another familiar and friendly voice like his will, I think, go a long way towards getting fans to tune in while they're away from the ballpark or the television.
Welcome back to Texas, Dave.
But most importantly ... welcome home.